Are you in the Musician’s Union for the North of England region?
If so, please would you vote for me to be a conference delegate this year…
I have proposed a motion that would make it official MU policy to seek to replace restrictive busking policies with liberal ones to keep our streets open to live music and the…
Top Camden news stories on Street I Am
An unusual NW1 souvenir: Street art sheds that stood in Camden Market given away
February 20, 2015
The sheds were available for free Published: 20 February, 2015 By ALINA POLIANSKAYA THEY have attracted countless street-art lovers to Camden Lock Village Market, but now the gates have closed for the final time, rows of painted wooden sheds are being given…
Spontaneous street culture gets religion too –
London Mayor Boris Johnson and ASAP founder find common ground –
What will the ruling class allow unlicensed people to do and express in public –
What is spontaneous street culture? Do you have to be licensed to play a guitar? Does a persons right to be annoyed outweigh the rights of average citizens to sing a song, play a clarinet or recite poetry…
SEN 02-10-14 – Camden Busking law – Beckham street art
SEN 02-10-14 – SEN 02-10-14 Street Entertainment News Headlines – Beckham, from art collector to…
Buskers told ‘pack up or we’ll arrest you’
As he did in York, UK busker and advocate for busker street culture rights Jonny Walker, made a point in Liverpool during a ruling class type evaluation for a government certification known as the Purple Flag. This badge of distiction is bestowed on fortunate communities by the Association of Town Centre Managers (ATCM). This is a consortium of property development concerns under the direction of their government partners.
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BUSKERS in Liverpool were threatened with arrest by police as top town-centre award judges made a flying visit during Light Night, it has been claimed.
Daniel Taylor’s insight:
Jonny Walker pushes buttons in Liverpool
Jonny Walker to Perform on York Streets this Easter Weekend
The York council agreed today to reconsider its rules on Street Performers busking on the city streets. The rules had come under fire from the Association of Street Artists and Performers and one of its founders Jonny Walker who is a well known busker in York. Gill Cooper who is the councils head of culture, heritagee and tourism was reported to have said today, “Our busking badge scheme was set up in consultation with local street entertainers and buskers, as well as the Safer York partnership and city centre businesses. As stewards of the city centre’s public spaces with a responsibility to represent the interests of all its users, we will be inviting interested parties to contribute to refresh the busking badge scheme guidelines to ensure buskers a platform and city centre users and businesses quality entertainment that adds to a vibrant location. “Following a very constructive meeting with Mr Walker, we are very pleased to have been able to reinstate his busking badge.”
The problem with the rules from the standpoint of the performers was that the fees for busking were cost prohibitive and made it very difficult for the buskers to make enough money to be able to perform. One of the most difficult fees was the charge for selling a CD while performing. As a protest , Mr Walker decided to offer his CD for a donation with no set price but asked anyone interested to give a donation instead. At that point the city decided to levy a fine which he refused to pay and told him that he could no longer offer the CD as a donation citing him for begging which is against the law. Mr Walker then submitted a formal protest and contested the fine continuing to perform and offer the CD for a donation. It was then that his busking badge was revoked. Undeterred he continued to busking in the days that followed and began with the help of ASAP to circulate a petition which was signed by over 2000 people.
Today his badge was reinstated with the councils promise to review the laws in the coming weeks. The current laws about busking were passed in 2005 and are in need of updating according to Gill Cooper and ASAP..
In a statement released today Jonny Walker said, “A whole lot of water has flowed under the bridge in York in the last two and a half weeks, almost as if the River Ouse itself had burst its banks. Yesterday the flood waters receded. I attended a meeting with York City Council. I was accompanied by Morris Stemp, Regional Organiser of the Musician’s Union and Neill Ryan, a well-loved musician who often busks in York. We sat around the table with a couple of officers from the Licensing Department and with Gill Cooper who is Head of Culture, Tourism and City Centre for York. As the founding director of ASAP! I want to see public spaces that are open to grassroots expressions of art and culture. We welcome any changes to policies that lift unnecessary restrictions and burdens on performers. We want to see the shared spaces of our towns and cities filled with spontaneity, and, dare I say it, with joy!
This is not a time for complacency however. Performers in many other towns and cities across the country face many unnecessary problems in pursuing their craft. ASAP! will continue the fight to keep streets alive with buskers, artists, poets and troubadours, to work with local authorities constructively wherever we can, but to not be afraid of challenging injustice.
Whoever you are, and whatever your gifts, we would love you to work with us in our dream to remove barriers for those who wish to take their art to the streets. There is no charge to join us, just follow this link:
Many thanks once again,
Founding Director of ASAP
For Street Performer Rights in York
Well known and talented busker Jonny Walker is protesting the confiscatory rates charged for any street performer that sells a CD on the streets of York. The City government is either very greedy or is trying to discourage talented performers from entertaining on the streets there as they charge 40 pounds British or $60 US per day for a selling permit.
Mr. Walker has set up an organization to help Street Performers in Britain called Association of Street Artists and Performers (ASAP). He is quoted in ITV as saying, “ASAP has been set up because across the country local authorities are getting heavy handed with people who want nothing more then to perform their art on the streets. Public space belongs to all of us, and the High Streets, under pressure from Internet shopping, out of town developments, high rents and the dire economic situation need to be full of life and music to keep people’s spirits up.”
As a protest to the outrageous permit fee for selling, Jonny Walker offered his CD’s to the public for a donation while giving one of his daily performances. The authorities in return confiscated his permit and accused him of begging, which is government speak for, We rule you and will get your money or make it impossible for you to live decently.
Check out this great video by Theunsignedtv of a performance he gave with two other buskers recently.
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